Top 10 eDiscovery articles of 2019

Top 10 eDiscovery articles of 2019

There were plenty of things happening in the world of eDiscovery this year, and the Ipro Newsroom was there to cover it – Here are our top 10 articles of 2019!

#1: What is Hybrid eDiscovery and How Will it Shape the Future of Legaltech?

hybrid eDiscoverySoftware alone isn’t enough. Data continues to grow in size and complexity & the need for that data in investigations & litigation is now a daily occurrence. For an agile response, innovative approaches to eDiscovery are necessary & rather than trying to go it alone, forward-thinking legal teams will look toward a hybrid approach.

#2: The eDiscovery Impostor and How to Spot Them

eDiscovery impostorTechnology is only as good as its users, which means you have to be on the lookout for impostors in eDiscovery.

#3: AI in eDiscovery: Expectations vs. Reality

AI in eDiscoveryWhen people in eDiscovery hear the term AI, they think science-fiction, with robot lawyers doing the work. But in reality, AI is an amazing tool, which allows attorneys to more effectively do what they’ve always done: practice law.

#4: Redaction Errors in Federal Opioid Case Reveal Importance of Legal Technology

legal redaction technologyFor those in the legal industry, redactions are a part of everyday life. But this doesn’t mean they’re mundane! Failure to redact or make sure that redacted content isn’t produced can be case ending (and job ending for the person responsible for the error).

#5: 5 Ways Paralegals Can Quickly Sharpen their eDiscovery Skills

eDiscovery ParalegalsBecoming an eDiscovery specialist can really set you apart from other paralegals & lead to expanded career opportunities, but the challenges of eDiscovery aren’t often a traditional part of a paralegal’s training. Here are 5 ways to start sharpening your eDiscovery skills!

#6: 5 Reasons Your Legal Team is Being Held Back by Legacy eDiscovery Software

legacy eDiscovery softwareChange Can Be Daunting: Here are 5 reasons why continued use of unsupported legacy software is a ticking time bomb in your eDiscovery process.

#7: eDiscovery Technology for Small Law Firms? The Answer Isn’t Necessarily Found in the Cloud

This is where small firms find themselves stuck: either they adopt cloud-based solutions that were built with larger users in mind or they are left with outdated, unsupported desktop solutions. It’s no wonder many of them simply stick with the old way of doing things. But instead of a “go cloud or do nothing” approach, the small firm solution might be a powerful, locally deployed, low-overhead eDiscovery suite.

#8: How to Turn eDiscovery into Baby Carrots: 5 Models for Recovering your Law Firm’s eDiscovery Costs

ediscovery costsMost law firms see eDiscovery as a cost they simply have to absorb. Others will outsource eDiscovery work and pass the bill on to the client. However, with the right cost recovery tactics, the litigation support team can become one of the most profitable divisions in the firm or agency, essentially turning a cost center into a profit center.

#9: Two Murder Investigations Highlight the Role of eDiscovery in Criminal Investigations

ediscovery in criminal investigationsMobile phone data, GPS, social media, surveillance video, and other new media types are continually being used to investigate criminal cases and bring them to trial. Since the use of these types of data are being used to solve crimes, attorneys and courts must be prepared to handle the electronic data while trying these cases.

#10: The Forgotten Middle Child of the EDRM: eDiscovery Processing Challenges and How Technology Can Help

eDiscovery ProcessingThe processing stage of eDiscovery is like the forgotten middle child of the EDRM. Most people are focused on focused on collection or review, while the the processing stage – which falls between those steps – is just expected to happen. Like magic. But processing isn’t magic. And it shouldn’t be overlooked.

 

Are you interested in the top 10 eDiscovery memes of the year? Click here!

In eDiscovery, a Sense of Humor Helps

eDiscovery memes

Ipro’s Top 10 Legal Technology Memes for 2019

A sense of humor isn’t required to work in eDiscovery. But it sure does help! To wrap up 2019 and continue celebrating our industry, Ipro has compiled our top Legal Technology memes of the year.

#1: Defining AI in eDiscovery…

eDiscovery and AI

There are a lot of claims of “Artificial Intelligence” in the market, but when people hear the term AI, they often think of science-fiction, with robots doing the work that humans had done before. But as Aaron Swenson, Director of Product at Ipro, says: “In Legal, you don’t want the AI doing the work for you. You want it to help you ask the right questions, show you insightful trends in the data.”

#2 Stuck in the Past…

eDiscovery data culling

There’s no doubt that eDiscovery education is still a great need in the industry. A lot of law firms and corporations are left using outdated technology and workflows, trudging along with a “It’s not broken, so why fix it” attitude. Maybe it’s time they head Back to the Future.

#3: If only there were technology to help with that…

redaction errors

Doing redactions manually is a recipe for disaster! Tools like Ipro’s Production Shield (which is included in our enterprise and desktop eDiscovery solutions) allow administrators to add another layer of protection for documents that should not be produced.

#4: Things don’t always go as planned…

mobile data imaging

Because of privileged information on mobile devices, the courts are mindful about data requests. But in a recent case, the plaintiff’s complaint actually worked against their desire to keep their device from being imaged.

#5: Complex doesn’t have to look crazy…

trial presentation meme

There is a better way to organize and present the evidence in your case! Technology that utilizes the combination of fact management & trial presentation tools can make your day in court so much easier.

#6: Doing things the same since 2009…

linear review

Ten years ago, you didn’t really have a choice. But these days, with TAR, email threading, and concept searches, large datasets don’t have to be a slog.

#7: Perry Mason didn’t need TrialDirector to win…but you might

trialdirector perry mason

“Your allowing me to go into court without complete knowledge of the facts is inexcusable.”

#8: Are you serious!?

eDiscovery software

A recent Thomson Reuters survey found that only 19% of small law firms had eDiscovery technology, and an Altman Weil survey found that 69% are resistant to change. If those stats don’t motivate you, maybe this little girl’s side-eye will!

#9: Wait, there are rules in eDiscovery!?

judge judy eDiscovery

Avoid this look from your judge & brush up on the eDiscovery rules with the Ipro FRCP Cheat Sheet!

#10: Heirloom eDiscovery

eDiscovery upgrade

Ah, good old legacy software like grandma used to use…with limited processing capabilities, issues with file type compatibility, a lack of continued development and support. A decade is here! Time for an upgrade.

 

 

Upcoming Webinar! Learn why Ipro for desktop is the future of small-footprint eDiscovery solutions

Ipro for desktop

Upcoming Webinar! Learn why Ipro for desktop is the future of small-footprint eDiscovery solutions

The small law firm is often left out of the eDiscovery conversation. Faced with choosing an enterprise tool, sticking with legacy eDiscovery software that is no longer being developed, or the old standby, manual processes, it might seem that small firms are left little in the way of eDiscovery options.

Say hello to Ipro for desktop!

Ipro for desktop gives you BigLaw power with Small Firm overhead. This is a true all-in-one litigation platform, allowing you to effortlessly manage reviews, ingest native files, and accurately produce documents. You can also build case strategy using the fact management tool and prepare presentation in TrialDirector360.

For an in-depth look at how Ipro for desktop can help your legal team through the litigation lifecycle from discovery to trial, join Ipro’s VP of desktop solutions Derek Miller for an upcoming product webinar, December 18th at 1pm EST.

In addition to discovery, Derek will discuss how our customers are taking advantage of Ipro’s feature-rich product to handle employee disputes, as well as subpoena and FOIA requests, with the added ability to work offline for continued productivity.

Are you already working with a legacy eDiscovery platform? Find out how migrating cases from a variety of other systems is a simple and straightforward process.

Register now!

 

Is eDiscovery Existing in a Post-Sanctions World?

eDiscovery Sanctions

Is eDiscovery Existing in a Post-Sanctions World?

The short (and obvious) answer is no. Rule 37(e) isn’t going anywhere. But recent case law indicates a trend where sanctions seem to be harder to come by, which may play into what concerns in-house legal teams as they consider the technologies they may need.

A recent infographic, General Counsel: From Lawyers to Strategic Partners (released by Raconteur with data from Walters Kluwer) showed 66% of corporate legal teams saying “Data Breaches and Protection of corporate data” was a top issue keeping them up at night. Sanctions didn’t even make the list.

Recent case law from 2019 supports the lack of sanction fear, as several cases showed that even when evidence was deleted (sometimes knowingly), courts aren’t doling out sanctions in the same way since the 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) went into effect.

As a refresher, Rule 37(e) of the FRCP lays out the threshold for sanctions as follows:

If Electronically Stored Information (ESI) was lost because:

A party didn’t take reasonable steps to preserve it when they should have (i.e. because they knew litigation was imminent)

  • and if the lost ESI can’t be restored or replaced by simply doing discovery again
  • and if there was an intent to deprive the party of information by the loss of the ESI
  • and if the lost ESI actually affects the outcome of the case

…then the court may consider sanctions.

The following examples show that consider is a key word, even when they find the threshold has been met, as in case 3.

United States et al. v. Supervalu, Inc. et al. Nov. 18, 2019 (C.D. Ill. 2019)

Three days after a subpoena, a district pharmacy manager for the defendant sent out an email stating, “Throw away all your competitor’s price matching lists and get rid of all signs that say we match prices.”

The plaintiff alleges there are inconsistencies in both the number and timing of the subsequent litigation holds and accordingly asked the Court for an in-camera review of the three litigation holds which were eventually sent. The plaintiff also believes that the defendant failed to preserve price matching materials responsive to the government subpoena from approximately 80% of their pharmacies nationwide.

But the Court denied sanctions, stating, “Upon reviewing the record, the Court is unable to conclude that Defendants acted in bad faith. If the evidence at trial shows otherwise and bad faith on the part of the Defendants is established, the Court can revisit the issue and consider one or both of the sanctions requested by the Relators or another appropriate sanction.”

Mafille v. Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. May 21, 2019 (N.D. Okla. 2019)

In this case, the plaintiff’s computer was wiped after her termination as part of standard retention policy. When the plaintiff filed for spoliation sanctions, the Court found that the plaintiff’s computer contents were uploaded daily onto the defendant’s LAN server as part of a company policy. So even if her computer were destroyed, the contents could potentially be retrieved if discovery were done on the LAN server. Also, the defendant requested which documents were vital for the plaintiff’s case so they could attempt to retrieve them from the LAN server, but the plaintiff never identified any such items.

Univ. Accounting Serv., LLC v. Schulton. June 7, 2019 (D. Or. 2019)

In this case, the defendant admitted, “I recognize fully that was in violation of the subpoena,” and later said of one particular piece of data, “I deleted the file as fast as I could, because I was petrified at its existence, because it’s exactly the type of damning information that UAS wants to catch me with.”

In US District Judge Michael H. Simon’s Ruling, he states that the Rule 37(e) sanction thresholds “have been satisfied.” Yet, even after meeting the threshold conditions, the judge didn’t order case termination sanctions, but instead chose a permissive inference spoliation instruction against the defendant.

No Sanctions, Why Worry?

Without the specter of sanctions haunting the dreams of in-house legal, does this mean they’ll finally get a good night’s sleep?

Only if they have the processes and technology to manage the exponential growth of data sizes and new file types, which continues to be one of the biggest challenges for corporations, particularly for in-house legal teams who are tasked with mitigating risk involved with enterprise data. To do this, the ability to manage data in a flexible and scalable manner is vital.

Sending a legal hold notice is pretty straightforward. Gaining meaningful and speedy insight into petabytes of data from multiple file types for investigations and subpoenas is much more complex, and forward-looking legal teams are putting their technology to work doing just that.

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro

A first step in this process is to use Ipro’s Pre-Litigation Data Checklist as a guide to effectively manage enterprise data in order to avoid potential data pitfalls in the middle of a matter.

Download the Ipro Pre-Litigation Data Inventory Checklist

Ipro Pre-Litigation Data Checklist

The True Meaning of eDiscovery Day

eDiscovery Day

Yes, it’s the holiday season, but do we need one for eDiscovery? With December 4th marking the 5th annual eDiscovery Day, the answer is yes! It was created to put a spotlight on our industry and to celebrate the professionals who make the legal process happen (often behind the scenes). For an industry that’s expected to reach almost $19 billion per year by 2023, up from more than $10 billion in 2018, there’s no denying that we’re deserving of a holiday!

However, as holidays are wont to do, they make us reflect on our purpose (it’s definitely not just about money). Instead, it’s important to remember that eDiscovery is about ensuring the strength of our justice system. It’s about making sure the legal process functions with accuracy and defensibility. One only has to return to Chief Justice John Roberts’ statements in 2015 (the year of the first eDiscovery day):

“The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure will achieve the goal of Rule 1 only if the entire legal community, including the bench, bar, and legal academy, step up to the challenge of making real change. Judges and lawyers [have an obligation] to work cooperatively in controlling the expense and time demands of litigation. Lawyers—though representing adverse parties—have an affirmative duty to work together, and with the court, to achieve prompt and efficient resolutions of disputes.”

And that’s why the mission of eDiscovery Day being a vendor agnostic celebration of this work we’re all trying to do (and do well) is so vital. It’s about the entire legal community stepping up to the challenge of working cooperatively to continually achieve the mandate of Rule 1: to reach a just, speedy, and inexpensive resolution to legal disputes.

So that’s what eDiscovery Day is about. It’s about all of us – practitioners, attorneys, judges, technologists, vendors (and even writers) – coming together and recognizing how important the work each of us does to ensure the goal of Rule 1 (and the entire justice system) is met.

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro

 

Having trouble deciding what to do on eDiscovery Day? Join us for our Dec. 4th Webinar:

30 Years of eDiscovery: Industry Veterans Discuss Where We’ve Been & What the Future Holds

Four eDiscovery industry veterans talk about their earliest days working in legal tech over the past three decades and give their insights into what they see happening in 2020 and beyond. Panelists: George Socha, Derek Miller, Ryan Joyce, and Sarai Schubert.

New Study Shows In-House Legal as Strategic Enterprise Partners

In-House Legal enterprise partners

New Study Shows In-House Legal as Strategic Enterprise Partners

In a recent stat-filled infographic, General Counsel: From Lawyers to Strategic Partners (released by Raconteur with data from Walters Kluwer), large shifts with in-house corporate legal teams are showing from as recently as two years ago.

One of the main changes is in-house legal departments are becoming valued partners within large enterprises and are increasingly being called upon for their input on business decisions. From data privacy management to regulatory risk mitigation, general counsels now provide a host of vital services for companies to compete in today’s uncertain business environment.

For example, in 2017 the biggest priority for corporate legal departments was improving internal efficiency. This year’s respondents overwhelmingly said that adding to the business and becoming a strategic business partner was their main priority. This is probably a result of the C-Suite seeing the legal department’s ability to bring significant strategic and economic impact to the company as a whole through the use of technology.

Another big arena of change was the priority of data security and data privacy shifting away from in-house legal teams in 2019. This isn’t to say that data management is no longer a priority for companies as a whole but could be a result of more and more corporations creating separate departments focused solely on data, allowing legal to focus on risk mitigation, internal investigations, and compliance.

But even with the growth of in-house legal, only 14% of eDiscovery work was done internally, with the rest being outsourced to traditional or specialist law firms or to alternative legal services providers (ALSP). As companies continue putting a focus on how legal teams can contribute more to business needs overall, this could be a significant area of savings. However, in order to do this, in-house teams will have to develop mature eDiscovery processes and workflows as well as invest in eDiscovery technology.

To read even more statistics regarding corporate in-house legal teams,
Download the Full Infographic!

Written by Jim Gill, Content Writer, Ipro

AI in eDiscovery: Expectations vs. Reality

AI in eDiscovery

AI in eDiscovery: Expectations vs. Reality

There are a lot of claims of “Artificial Intelligence” in the market, but when people hear the term AI, they often think of science-fiction, with robots doing the work that humans had done before. But as Aaron Swenson, Director of Product at Ipro, says:

“In Legal, you don’t want the AI doing the work for you. You want it to help you ask the right questions, show you insightful trends in the data.”

AI in eDiscovery, by Ipro

Download this white-paper to learn
How AI can help you streamline
your eDiscovery process & reduce costs

The eDiscovery Impostor and How to Spot Them

eDiscovery impostor

The eDiscovery Impostor and How to Spot Them

“To err is human,” but in an industry as seemingly driven by precision as eDiscovery, errors are all too common. Yes, mistakes are going to happen. Which is why we can fall back on processes and procedures to ensure that even when those mistakes happen, there are controls in place to catch and correct them.

Technology can go a long way in helping with Quality Control, especially when you’re dealing with large document and data sets, which increase the chances of missing something. But technology is only as good as its users, and according to some in eDiscovery, you have to be on the lookout for impostors.

What is an eDiscovery impostor? It’s simply a vendor or service provider that doesn’t deliver up to the standard expected or demanded by the requirements of the industry and the law. If you find the pickles were left off of a hamburger after you pull out of the drive thru, sure, it’s frustrating, and depending on how much you love them, you may even turn the car around to get what you had coming. But in the legal space, meeting deadlines with accurately processed and produced evidence is literally the law, and there are very real consequences for not meeting expectations.

Technology Impostors

Sometimes it’s an issue with the technology itself. Tom O’Connor, director of the Gulf Coast Legal Technology Center and well-known industry thought-leader noted in an earlier article that errors loading data into many eDiscovery tools “Is still a mess. I (and people I work with) still get up to two-thirds of their load files with errors.” And then on the backend of that process, many solution-platforms lack reporting to help with QC. “This is absolutely crucial,” O’Connor stated. “And it’s astonishing to me how many programs don’t do it or do it in an incomplete manner.”

Service Provider Impostors

There are other types of eDiscovery impostors on the vendor and service provider side of things. Sal Llanera, who has over 25 years of experience in Forensic Technology, has held executive positions with Ernst & Young and other top accounting/consulting firms in New York supporting law firms in complex fraud and litigation assignments, and is the Founder and Principal of SL Data Management, shared some stories of his personal experiences with eDiscovery Impostors.

No QC on production deliverables:  One time an e-Discovery outfit approached me through a friend and offered me $20/gig for processing. So I sent them some personal emails (gmail accessed via Outlook) as a PST for a processing test. About 30% came back as junk, most likely due to rendering issues. I asked them what happened, and they blamed my emails, then had the audacity to ask if I’d give them another chance. 

People disappear when there are issues: With one particular vendor, we had some issues with the data over the weekend. No call back till a weekday. Come-on, we work with lawyers in a reactive environment. No weekend support?  Subpar work-ethic. This situation actually hurt my business.

Did not process data: A few years ago, I asked a friend in the business to handle a processing job for me. I handed over the drive, and in return he bought me a cup of coffee. Great, right? Two weeks later, I found out he never processed the data. It was such a large dataset, he figured I wouldn’t notice. I no longer talk to him. And like the second example, this directly hurt my business.

How to Avoid eDiscovery Impostors

Like anything else where you need to check veracity, simply do your due diligence. Ask providers for references. And then ask those references questions like:

  • How many projects they’ve done with them?
  • Are they responsive to emails/communication 24/7?
  • Are they problem solvers?
  • Were there any other issues?
  • Were they resolved quickly and professionally?

Even when you think you know someone, a little bit of research in the beginning can make a world of difference with the outcomes.

 

Written by Jim Gill
Content Writer, Ipro

What Percentage of Your Cases Go to Trial Each Year?

Percentage of Cases Go To Trial

 

What Percentage of Cases Go to Trial?

In a recent Ipro survey, 68% of respondents said that less than 5% of their cases go to trial each year. This probably isn’t a surprise to those of us working in the legal industry. For many, the goal is absolutely that: get to a resolution as quickly as possible and skip trial all together. Because of this, a large portion of legal teams working in the eDiscovery space don’t ever consider tools that are designed for fact management and trial presentation. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for them outside of the courtroom.

Percentage of Cases Go To Trial

For example, whether or not a case goes to trial, the legal team has to build a strategy around the facts and the evidence. A fact management tool allows a legal team to connect those facts with specific pieces of evidence or custodians, along with annotations by attorneys or lit support, so they can begin building a case strategy while conducting document review.

Another example of using trial-based tools before trial is presentation software. Often, presentation software can be connected directly to your fact management tool, allowing a legal team to present the strategy or case during mediation, at a meet and confer conference, or any other time where they may need present key elements of the case (including documents with highlights and call-outs, or video deposition clips) in a clear and organized fashion.

That’s where a solution like Ipro for desktop comes in: it’s a full eDiscovery processing and review tool with built-in fact management (Case Story) and trial presentation (TrialDirector 360) components, allowing for a seamless workflow from data ingestion through eDiscovery to presentation. So if you never see the inside of a courtroom, or a large percentage of your cases end up at trial, eDiscovery and Trial technology can level the playing field for your firm.

 

 


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What Should Be in the Small Law Firm eDiscovery Toolbox: The Lawyerist Interviews Derek Miller

small law firm eDiscovery

The small law firm is often left out of the eDiscovery conversation. Faced with choosing an enterprise tool, sticking with legacy eDiscovery software that is no longer being developed, or the old standby, manual processes, it might seem that small firms are left little in the way of eDiscovery options.

But that isn’t the case. Recently, The Lawyerist interviewed Derek Miller, VP of Desktop Solutions at Ipro, on several of their podcasts, talking about just that: eDiscovery tools small law firms should keep in their toolboxes.

Why Do Small Firms Need to Care About eDiscovery?

Derek Miller: I have a firm that I work with here in Phoenix, a small firm, two attorneys and two paralegals. And they’ve decided to use technology from start to finish. From the first meeting with a client, they start a chronology on what they’re going to produce, and what they’re getting from opposing counsel. And they start with electronically created information and images, which means someone has to process it and work with it. So they use our desktop software to ingest that information, review, and produce it. They also manage their transcripts and synchronized video, and they build the entirety of their case through the use of this technology.

At every stage, they’re reviewing, producing, scanning, coding data, and putting it into a product that will allow them to then take all of that information and transition it through the litigation life cycle and then go into trial and present that information. Ironically, everyone has to prepare as if they’re going to trial; whether or not they end up there is dependent upon the case. And because they’re using technology at every stage, they’re already familiar with the facts all the way through, solidifying their strategy.

Lawyerist: They don’t have to wait until pre-trial, or even discovery, they’re ready to go from the beginning of the intake process. That sounds like a pretty powerful way to approach trial prep and litigation in general.

Derek Miller: I think so. And because they’ve adopted the software and are using it through the whole process, they don’t have to relearn it each time when they get to a certain stage. It’s just a natural part of the practice.

Lawyerist: How would a firm get started using technology like that?

Derek Miller: That’s a great question. First, go out and evaluate a couple of different products, decide what it is that you’re trying to do, and then how a particular software fits that goal.

Secondarily, I would invest heavily in the training. Once you become familiar with the software, then make that a part of your workflow.

Fact Management:

Lawyerist: What’s a tool that you think should be in every litigator’s toolbox?

Derek Miller: I think one of the tools that can be really helpful, and that’s a little bit underrated, is a Fact management tool.

Lawyerist: What is a fact management tool?

Derek Miller: It’s a tool that bridges the gap between the discovery/production phase of litigation and the trial phase. And with every case, you should be preparing as if you are going to trial, even if you don’t ultimately end up in the courtroom.

Lawyerist: I’m imagining that a fact management tool uses key facts, material facts, extraneous facts, as the central organizing principle, and my assumption is that it helps me organize what those facts are and identify why they might matter, helping me draw connections between them.

Derek Miller: Yeah, I think one way to think about a fact management tool is it’s like one of those photographic mosaics, where you’re trying to take a bunch of those little individual pictures and turn it into one big picture. And with litigation, you start with one big picture in mind, and then with all the little pictures you’re given, you try and paint it so it’s accurate and clearly seen. Sometimes that’s harder to do, because you’re stuck with all these little pieces of evidence, and you have to align those with all of the facts and issues of the case. A fact management tool can help you do that. You have to have the ability to manage witnesses, documents, testimony, and a chronology, and the ability to visualize “what happened when” is a key part of painting that picture.

Lawyerist: You just mentioned a chronology, what are some other key features you want to look for in a fact management tool.

Derek Miller: Something that ties together facts and the evidence that goes with it, whether that is a document, an email, a video, a transcript testimony from a deposition, any of those are all key pieces you want to manage. Additionally, you don’t want a tool that’s a bridge to nowhere. And what I mean by that, is that it would be great if all the effort and work product was going to transition easily into whatever you’re going to use for trial.

Lawyerist: Because the idea here, is that whenever I see a fact, it’s providing me with the additional context. So I know what that fact means, what the significance is, if it turns out to exist or not exist, if the fact is disproved or proved, and what that means for my case, and what are the documents I’m going to need to prove it up or disprove it.

Derek Miller: You’re right, and then which witness is going to testify and who’s going to introduce that evidence to help you out.

Lawyerist: Is this something that will work with my presentation software, or is this just something I would use myself on my laptop at my desk?

Derek Miller: It could be either/or. As I mentioned earlier, it could be something that’s going to transition that work product right into the trial software, so that if you do end up in the courtroom, you’re not redoing that work. It’s all going along for the ride.

Lawyerist: And that’s the philosophy behind Ipro, right? It’s something you begin using at the beginning of the case that helps you along the way, and then it also turns into a fact management tool as you need it to be, and it also helps you present your case at trial, and handles the whole lifecycle of the case.

Derek Miller: Exactly. We’re all about simplifying that entire process, from the start of discovery all the way through trial.

Redaction Woes:

Lawyerist: You were telling me about some PDF redaction disasters you were seeing recently that show what happens when you use software correctly, but for a purpose which it was not intended. Tell us what you’ve seen.

Derek Miller: Recently in the news, there was the story of the redacted information that was erroneously or accidentally exposed because of the tools that were used to do the redaction. It’s probably not the first or last time that will happen, but in this instance, it was an issue of understanding how the technology works versus the software itself, and that can be the bigger problem when it comes to selecting tools for the toolbox.

Lawyerist: So in this case, remind me, what was the situation and what was the tool that went wrong?

Derek Miller: Basically, the situation was they went through and they redacted some grand jury information, and the software did work as it was intended, and it did redact, but that doesn’t mean it was permanent or fixed, so an outside party was able to highlight, copy, and paste, and then show that redacted information in another document.

Lawyerist: This was the kind of situation where, someone drew black boxes over the document, which works if you’re going to print it, but doesn’t actually redact the digital information from the file.

Derek Miller: Correct. When you have an image or text, you can put a black box over it all you want, but the underlying data is still there. So while they did choose a redaction tool, they didn’t double check to make sure the information wasn’t still available.

Lawyerist: So how can lawyers make sure that when they are redacting PDF documents or other digital documents, they’re doing it correctly.

Derek Miller: That’s kind of the challenge: picking the right tool for the right job. Based on this recent experience, anyone doing redactions and producing redacted documents is going to understand how those tools work and be a little more careful so they avoid this type of mistake. But mainly you want to make sure you have the right tool in your toolbox. So use software that’s specifically designed to redact and produce those redactions accurately. And as far as the functionality of the software, you want to make sure it does a couple of things like automatically re-OCR the document to remove the text under the redaction, run validations to make sure the redactions are burned in and the text is correct, and then be able to create layered redactions so that multiple production sets can be sent to multiple parties.

In addition to those functions, in the Ipro for enterprise and Ipro for desktop products, there is a feature called Production Shield which identifies those types of documents that need that added layer of review before they’re produced.

Lawyerist: Which can keep you from making mistakes. Kind of like the email feature that reminds you when you’ve forgotten to attach something.

Derek Miller: Exactly. In a similar way that your email will ask, “Are you sure you want to send?” or “Did you mean to attach documents?” Production Shield works in a similar way where it says, hey, you may want to check these documents to make sure the redaction is correct and there’s no underlying text that could inadvertently get disclosed.

Lawyerist: That sounds pretty handy! Thanks so much for being with us today, Derek.

Derek Miller: Thank you.

 

Find out how 5 legal teams overcame their challenges, utilizing Ipro’s Hybrid approach to eDiscovery.

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